The OS button: Taking the Oh s$&# out of a digital transformation of your farm

This week we will be speaking at Ag PhD Field Day about the adoption of technology on the farm.

At Farm Femmes we have been helping farmers convert their farms to digital operations as they set their next generations up for success in precision agriculture. There are 3 key things we’ve learned to make sure that OS stands for Operating System not Oh S$&#.

It’s not easy

If it was easy everyone would do it! Like anything new, getting started is the hardest part.

You’re not the only one wanting to get started - but not quite sure how

Breaking adoption of precision agriculture down into sub-components, and using the learnings each year to improve operations, creates greater adoption. Depending on your operation this may look like:

Year 1 - Import data that has been collected by your machines/displays for previous years. Name fields consistently, merge the data for each field and clean up any data collection errors. Or, if you have equipment that is older or doesn’t yet have displays, we can help you pick out solutions that will help you capture this data going forward. Potential end results: Timelines from seeding to harvest, yield maps for each field, informed soil testing for next year based on fields with greatest yield variation.

Year 2 - Utilize digital suite of tools in the off season to plan for the next season. Soil testing, establish yield goals based on year 1 data (what is realistic for your soil type / conditions) and create a prescription map for spring application. Determine which fields will be planted with which crop in your digital environments so you are set up for success when planting arrives - and there are fewer buttons to press when you get to the field to start tracking the data. Establish equipment settings and offsets to enable the digital creation of jobs. Determine which partners you want to share what information with (agronomists, custom applicators etc.) Focus on implementing several tests for yield improvement that can now be tracked and measured yield and profitability enhancements. Potential end results: Data availability throughout the season as jobs are performed, profitability mapping, integration of partner vendors as your operation desires (scouting, temperature, moisture etc.), integrated partners capture data (agronomists’ scouting reports).

Year 3 - Establish jobs, operators, and equipment electronically during the offseason to ‘push’ to your equipment. Determine if you want to upgrade any of your digital capture equipment (displays, GPS accuracy packages etc.). Integrate any new vendors or partners. Utilize your next generation to help keep your system up to date as well as have discussions about what you are learning is impacting yields and agronomic outcomes. Potential end results: Year 3 is when you will be feeling the positive effects in your operation and your pocketbook of precision agriculture and digital farming. The small wins of year 1 and 2 will have informed your farming practices in year 3 and have set your farm up for success for the next 5, 10, 25 years.

Finding a partner who is agnostic and will work under NDA removes the risks

Completing a digital transformation means that the partner you work with knows a lot about your operation. From creating boundary maps, seeding and application timelines to yield information. You want to choose a partner who is helping you to adopt the power of precision agriculture, but without the connection to your financing, agronomy or equipment. Find a partner who helps you understand the privacy settings on the platform you are implementing and will work under a non-disclosure agreement to ensure that your digital transformation stays private. You own your operation - and how it functions - finding the right partner that respects your privacy and helps you to be successful in a digital transformation is critical.

Farmers who work with FarmFemmes have someone sitting right beside them in the buddy seat - so pressing that OS button doesn't lead to an oh s^$*! moment.⁠ If you would like to learn more, or are interested in a free consult about your operation contact office@farmfemmes.com.